What to write about to break the ice here at Young is the New Black? These will be my first words, and I can’t help but wonder if they will define me for-ev-er (said like the Squints from Sandlot). Well I hope these words don’t define me because I’m writing about Sin City.
Las Vegas. The land of neon signs, drunken tourists walking around with sugary concoctions and the 24-hour anything. But if you can get past the debauchery and make your way through streets coated so thick with alcohol your heels start sticking, you’ll also find Vegas is the land of excess, luxury and lavishness.
It’s perhaps this 180-difference between filth and fantastic, lowly and luxurious, which draws me to Vegas whenever I am seeing too much grey in my life: grey suits, grey skies, grey buildings.
So one Friday as the clock passed on by my lunch hour I saw my mobile ringing and my sister’s name. I generally screen my calls but never for my sister. I pick it up and before I can even utter a greeting, she asks me what I’m doing for the weekend.
To the point, I thought. Something must be up. But before I could even muster up a reasonable excuse, she said, “We’re going to Vegas. I just bought your ticket. You have to be at the airport in four hours.”
I am not one for impromptu adventures. I need weeks of planning outfits and nail appointments and restaurant searches. But here was my chance to escape the grey. So off I went to my apartment, scooping as many accessories and clutches I could fit into two armfuls (they were large armfuls). Before I knew it I was airborne on Virgin America.
I landed in Las Vegas and pulled up to the Cosmopolitan Hotel. They are relatively new on the strip, so had some great promotions going on. We’ve been to Vegas a dozen-plus times and have stayed at various hotels so thought we’d try this place out. The first thing I noticed was the younger crowd. It was very obvious. It took me a full 24 hours of searching to find someone older than 40. Now, that’s not to say people were good looking… just younger.
When getting there by taxi or town car, make sure you ask for the west valet entrance. The west entrance will take you literally five steps away from the registration desk. If you end up on the east side you have to trek all the way through the casino floor. They probably prefer it that way so you are tempted to play some slots, but it’s a huge pain dragging your luggage. Go for the west entrance.
The front desk was efficient. When an employee saw me standing in line he came up to me and asked if he could help. He checked me in with no issues and was speedy. I appreciated his willingness to approach me so I wouldn’t have to wait in line longer. Our room was on the west tower, which again is a huge bonus. If you are staying there the west tower elevators are within steps away from the taxi stand. This is different than a lot of the resorts in Vegas that are designed for you to navigate the casino floor to enter or exit. It’s fun at first as you take in the excess. But when you are already 30 minutes late for a rezzy, walking in four-inch heels and trying to stay put together, the last thing you want is a mandatory tour of the casino.
The rooms are rather large; larger than both Aria and Vdara. They also have a trendier bathroom with see-through showers and some gorgeous, sensual wallpaper. Our room didn’t have a tub or balcony, but some do. One thing I thought was a pain about the bathroom was the lighting. I mean I like dim lights to look all sultry with a lover, but really, when I’m with my sister and we are both getting ready for the night, I don’t want to have to squint an inch from the mirror to see if I colored my lips right!
The room was kept super clean and room service was always out of sight. A huge bonus, which I swear should be mandatory for all hotels, is plenty of outlets. They also had outlets bedside so you could have your mobile plugged in and charging after hours of texting people until the wee hours of the morning. They had the room controls that many Vegas rooms now have with a touch screen iPad-like panel to control television, lights, music and even order room service. The one thing missing from the room control was the curtain. One of my favorite hotels in Las Vegas, the Mandarin Oriental, allows you to open and close the curtains or sheers bedside. At the Cosmopolitan you have to manually open the curtains. Le sigh.
Want to hear about some pool action? Check back soonest to hear more about Cosmopolitan’s pools. Hint: it includes alcohol-infused ice cream!